Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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492 Reviews
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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States | website

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe). The beer pours pale golden with a thick and creamy white head of foam. The aroma is full of depth: nuances of pepper, clove, and banana from the Belgian yeast strain, and the resiny citrus notes from the American hops blend together nicely to provide a complex aromatic character. The taste is spicy, hoppy and fruity, with a very dry and a pleasant bitter end. The bitterness lingers nicely, and provides a refreshing finish that leads you to want to drink more and more of this beer!

Added by froghop on 08-04-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
492
Ratings:
885
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
14.07%
 
 
Wants:
45
Gots:
253
For Trade:
15
User Reviews
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Reviews: 492 | Ratings: 885
Photo of mikesgroove
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up these bottles right after the release but I just got around to trying this one for the first time. Served cold and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 11/25/2008.

The pour was rather uneventful for me to be honest. Nice color, light golden yellow with a very clear look to it. Lots of carbonation was apparent bubbling up from the bottom of the glass, but there was little in the way of a head on top. Light amounts of maybe a half inch that faded quickly and left the top bare for most of the session. The aroma was rather nice with a light citrus hop punch that was accented by a pepper like spiciness and hints of light earthy grains. As it warmed some light fruit notes, peaches and apples started to come through as well. Most of this did not transfer over well into the flavor though. Light grains and a touch of light fruit coming through clearly, but the rest was rather light for me. Hints of citrus hops and a touch of light pepper on the finish .Even feel, quite light actually with a good bit of lively carbonation coming in throughout. Not overly strong, as the alcohol was well hidden and this one went down with ease.

Overall I would have to say this was my least favorite of the VE series. It just needed a little more punch to really sell it.

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Photo of abuliarose
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter to reveal a rich golden body and tall, airy head that dies off pretty fast. It smells very funky with a little citrusy sour. Kinda like a concentrated... farmhouse... funk. After that, though, there is some pleasant sweetness to it.

Tastes a little like it smells with the same funk flavor. After that, gentle hop character with orange notes, a little floral honey and a little light malt. The bitterness is not at all overwhelming, and if not for the little kick of it at the end, I would have pegged this one a saison. Carbonation is very precise but makes up enough of the mouthfeel to be present. Light body. Medium smoothness. Quite warming. Fairly drinkable too, except the smell for me is a bit off-putting.

I don't remember the other vertical epic tasting quite like this one. It will be interesting when it comes time for the actual vertical.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Chimay glass. 09/26/08.

Pours a bright clear golden orange color. A moderate pour produced about half a finger of beige head that quickly receded to almost nothing. Aroma is interesting and very nice. Belgian yeast, candied sugar, sweet malty biscuit, floral hops, and hints of citrus and banana.

Taste is similar to the aroma but the hops are much more pronounced. Tastes like a Belgian IPA. The Belgian yeast flavor is there, with candied sugar and sweet malt. That's followed by a somewhat bitter citrus hop flavor. Over time the bitterness begins to overpower the Belgian characteristics, and the nice Belgian yeast flavor gets lots under the bitter hops.

Feel is well-carbonated with a medium-full body. It doesn't feel too heavy though. The finish is bone dry. Drinkability is decent. The alcohol is slightly noticeable. I wouldn't want to drink more than one of these, though finishing the bottle isn't a problem.

Overall, not bad. I'd like it much more if the hop bitterness were toned down quite a bit. Maybe in a few years...

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Photo of FrndthDuvel
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A quickly vanishing, pinkie sized head, egg white which sat briefly upon the clear golden orange ale in the Duvel tulip. Some ring and lacing which lasted awhile. Bit of spice, bit of bannana,bit of sugar,nicely distributed in the nose. Taste for me, is a nice mix between the sweetness/floral notes of a Belgian with some balancing bitterness. Nothing stunning. Perhaps a bit more on the bitter side. Ends sweet more than dry.
Alcohol seems well hidden. Seems slightly confused though as to what it wants to be. Since it was designed to last till 2012, I imagine it might smooth out a bit and become its own creation. First one I have had in awhile. Not something I would drink more than 1 at a time,or with any great regularity. Definitely would prefer the Green Flash Le Freak at this time over this if one wanted to combine IPA and Belgian. Though I do have enough to get to 012 .

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Photo of Murchmac
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another year, another VE.

This years offering pours with nice ring around the collar. Pretty clear, golden yellow.

Smells a fruity, white grape like almost. Very sweet.

Very fruity, hoppy, very carbonated. Dry, with a slight alcohol presence. Like a geworstameaner, (its a misspelled wine)

Sweet, fruity aftertaste, leaves the mouth dry with a heavy feeling in the middle of your tongue.

Stone is starting to slip in their anniversary beers and VE's in my opinion. This is more like a wine than beer.

In their defense, I think they achieved what they set out to do, I just dont like it...

EDIT: AFTER ONE YEAR OF AGE ON IT, IT'S FANTASTIC

At least we'll always have ruination...

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Photo of kmeves
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a semi cloudy light golden with a medium off-white head. Aroma is medium sweet lime, lemon, grassy, malt and wheat. Flavor is big sweet wheat and malt initially then grass, herb and mint to finish. Citrus is more noticeable in the finish. Full bodied, thick texture.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first beer of our 04-08 tasting...thanks PatronWizard!

A: Pours a bright golden color with a big and beautiful two-finger head. The lacing is decent and the head quickly dissipated.

S: I nice light-sweet malt with a very gentle hop profile; very well balanced.

T: Super sweet, but isn't overly sweet like an aged barleywine. A lot of Pale Ale qualities that includes that delicate Belgian touch; could have had more Belgian spices. Hides alcohol well.

M: Nearly perfect for the style....sufficient carbonation, light-body, and a slight velvety feel.

D: A good beer...not great. Could have any day of the week, but I could go without as well.

Overall: I think aging will hurt this beer, so I recommend having this brew fresh. A good beer. Cheers!

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Photo of clvand0
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a golden color with a tall head that falls quickly and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The first thing I get from the aroma is a pine and citrus hop character along with a touch of Belgian spicy yeast character. The flavor has big pine and citrus hops at the first, followed by the standard spicy Belgian character. Some bready malts and lingering bitterness as well. The mouthfeel is medium and the drinkability is ok. I'm not a huge fan of mixing Belgians with US hops, but that's just me.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

About a year and a half old and purchased recently. Probably wasn't stored properly, but the warehouse-like store wasn't exactly heated either. Not sure how warm it got in the summer. Anyway...

Served in a tulip. The beer is clear and golden. The head is white, a couple fingers thick and fell quickly to a film. It leaves some thin lacing. Looks pretty good.

Aroma is nice with a lot of belgian farmhouse character. There's also some faint citrus hop aroma in the background. I imagine that this was much more pronounced a year ago. There's also some fruity esters in there. The flavor is fruity and clean with the hops asserting themselves a little more. The hop bitterness comes through in the finish.

Carbonation is high, and it dries out nicely leaving very little bitterness behind. Pretty easy drinking. Wishing I got ahold of this one when it was fresh. I got a second bottle to drink on 12.12.12, trusting stone that it will hold up till then.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone

A: The beer pours a clear golden color with a white head and and spots of lacing.

S: There is still a surprising hop presence to this beer with some nice bright fruit notes, but those may be from the Belgian yeast strain. There's a bready and sugary sweetness to the nose along with some mild alcohol.

T: Quite a bit of bitterness on the tongue with citrus peel, particularly orange and tangerine. The hops are a bit grassy but provide some pine, too. A bit of pear sweetness along with the bread.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Not surprisingly, this beer is nowhere near as good as it was when it came out a couple years ago. But it's still drinkable.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

New review (9/22/09) from notes at MacGregors

A - slightly lighter in color than the '07, more gold I guess. Decent head retention, quite clear. 4.0

S - lightly fruity with a light citrus-hop aroma. Nearly like a Belgian tripel. 4.0

T - Amber malts, caramel, and a more pronounced hop presence in the finish. Touch of pear and grapefruit. 4.5

M - very smooth, light/medium bodied. 4.0

D - pretty good. I could do a goblet of this. 3.5

---

On tap at Local 44 during Philly Beer Week. Review from notes.

A - poured clear golden amber, white 1" head in a goblet. Bubbles run up from the bottom of the glass 4.0

S - sweet pale malts, slightly alcoholic and a touch of piny hops. What a strange nose... I didn't detect anything else... 3.5

T - sweet maltiness and a hint of raisins. Dry and hoppy finish. Pretty boozy, the alcohol is in your face. 3.5

M - medium bodied, highly carbonated. Prickly on the tongue. 3.5

D - decent but the alcohol is a bit much. 3.0

Thoughts - this was a bit boozy. It wasn't as balanced as I expected it to be. Give it a couple more years and maybe it'll mellow out a bit.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprised to see this down the road at Brilbeck's already, just goes to show how good Stone's distribution is. Although I still can't find any 12th Anniversary, grr.

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear rustic gold with a fluffy two finger white head that falls to a soft layer of bubbles. A fair amount of stick is left on the sides of the glass. Smell starts off some fruits such as mango, papaya, and grapefruit. Yeast and spice graze the nose as well, a very interesting combination of aromas. Taste begins with oily hops and pepper followed by a piney zest. Spice and clove dominate midway and continue on all the way into the aftertaste. A touch of banana here and there throught on the tongue as well. Medium slick body with a flowing carbonation and slight bite from the hops. The alcohol is hidden quite well in this beer. I would classify this as a Belgian IPA. An up and coming style that is still a bit rough around the edges but still a very interesting beer.

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Photo of samie85
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Originally consumed 1/22/10.

A-Slightly red hued golden color with a white two finger head.

S- I'm getting lemon zest, pine, herbal bitterness, pepper, and spicy Belgian yeast.

T- Lemon and grapefruit with pepper, dry and spicy Belgian yeast, an herbal note, and clove. Pretty interesting flavor profile, but not one I'm in love with.

M-Medium bodied with pretty significant carbonation.

D-The herbal aftertaste and the high carbonation hurts the drinkability for me. It's very interesting but a little overcomplicated.

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Photo of waltonc
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last of the 2004-2008 vertical epic tasting we did last night. An outstanding evening of fine beer. The 2008 was actually the least interesting of them. This one was kind of blah.

A: light gold

S: floral, citrus, hops, spice.

T: More of the same, piney. Seems to be a belgian yeast with the added twist of California hop overkill (though this doesn't have a crazy amount of hops compared to some stone stuff)

M: medium body and carbonation

D: Just not interesting enough for me to want to drink more than a glass.

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Photo of JosephLondon
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An extra as part of a trade with msulinski, I thank you for this one!

Poured a bright golden color with a nice, foaming white crown. The head departed to nonexistence-nothing with no lace. In the nose there is mostly citrus fruit with a hint of a yeasty-malt note. The taste is actually really good upfront with fresh fruits and a good hop bite(especially since the beer is a year and a half old). This fades in the body and leaves the finish bland. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by its somewhat robust character considering its age.There is nothing to note in its feel as it is fairly flat and thin. However, this 8.6 abv brew drank wonderfully. I was shocked when I saw the abv! I thought it was around 5.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.66/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours an unassuming gold straw color, a thin but complete cover with some heavy lacing.

Aroma - it's like a weird combo of Pine-Sol and olives. I'm thinking Band-Aids, but there are other interesting smells weaved in there too. Hard to pick out, maybe some cellaring will clarify the nose in a future tasting.

Taste - despite an oddball nose, it tastes great. Yeasty, banana, Belgian candi front, but on the lighter side. And on purpose, as there are some other flavors floating about. A slightly funky hoppiness, an almost rye-like graininess, and a very warm abv feel that is trying to meld things together. It may be a little out-matched at this early age but as time goes by this will take some twists ands turns flavorwise. A dry, bitter bite on the swallow, this beer really has a full complement of flavor. A breath of Band-Aid on the exhale now and then, but it's so close to the banana it's hard to distinguish at times.

Mouthfeel - plenty crisp, a medium body with notable smoothness.

Drinkability - so much going on here that you will want to have a number of these set aside for a tasting in 2010 and 2012.

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Photo of TMB0424
3.66/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber into tulip.

Poured a nice hazy gold body with peach tints and a two finger white head. Head quickly reduced to a foamy cap, leaving fairly good retention throughout.

Aroma is very reminiscent of Stone's IPA - citrus (grapefruit, orange peel), freshly squeezed lemon and hops. This is backed by a slight scent of yeast with clove. Can slightly detect alcohol, as well.

First sip, I was pretty disappointed because I only picked up the IPA aspects. After a couple more, the Belgian characteristics kicked in. The grapefruit and lemon are backed by sweet malts and honey. Hints of banana. Yeast brings a nice element as well. Finishes dry and bitter after the sweet kick-off.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with a very crisp but very dry feel to it. Carbonation is high, but it compliments everything. Although I enjoyed this brew, I couldn't have more than one pour - the sweetness just got to me. Recommended, nevertheless.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a fruity aroma that promises spiciness, like orange peels and allspice, and boasts of sweet sugars and bitter hops.

However, on the tongue, the hops are the first to emerge, exploding into grapefruit-bitter blossoms like a strong IPA. The sugars are downplayed immensely on the tongue, but still come across in the form of light fruitiness, perhaps apricots, and form a nice platform for the hoppy bitterness. There may be hints of darker flavors for some, such as tobacco or dark chocolate, as well as a nice toasted grain taste that threads its way through. The label says that this ale is "spicy, estery and fruity (from the yeast)," but by and large the hops are what take center stage, and in fact seem to throw the brew slightly off-kilter, as the deeper layers prove difficult to find against it; I mostly felt as if I were biting into the rind of a grapefruit.

Personally, I didn't mind this, as I quite like the ale's hoppy bitterness--but for anyone who already thinks that even light IPAs are too sour, this brew will only prove undrinkable. I give this 3.5 stars, with a note that it would have earned far more were it better balanced.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a Stone snifter

A- pours a clear golden color with some floaties swimming around, small fizzy white head disappears quickly, leaving nothing bend

S- the hop bitterness has subdued after six years, giving way to some nice fruity aromas with an emphasis on apple, there's a hint of spicy peppery spice left from the addition of the yeast, notes of apple as well

T- the hops are completely gone after six years, but there are some nice fruity notes of apple, pear and berry. Very subtle spiciness remains from the yeast, finishes bone dry with more fruit on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation lead to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and creamy dry finish

O- as expected, hops are gone, but the yeast lends some nice fruity notes. Still very drinkable but nothing like a Belgian IPA at this point

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Photo of tedpeer
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours golden with a white head that quickly subsided to a whispy layer with ring around. No lacing.

S - Hops, citrus.

T - Fruity, hoppy, citrus. Bitter aftertaste.

M - Medium mouthfeel, highly carbonated.

D - Not well balanced.

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Photo of flexinwext
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Couldn't wait to let this sit till 2012 so I thought I'd give it a shot. Clear golden yellow. Very "belgian" aroma of sweet malts, clove, citrus and piney hops. Very complex flavor with lots sweet malt upfront. Very carbonated. The alcohol is a bit overpowering in this one which hurts the drinkability a bit, but overall very good, I wonder what some age would do?

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Photo of Klym
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone nonic. First in a little sunday morning session with Cavery (love our weekend sessions!).

A: A very hazy pale gold, almost white on the outside. Poured with unusual violence in effort to get a nice head, but only managed to get about a 1 finger head that died down soon after. Lacing is thick and foamy but most of it falls off pretty quickly.

S: Awfully yeasty at first but became more sweet as it warmed up. A very bread-like yeast with sour apple, fresh cut grass and goji berry. An intimidatingly strong smell.

T: Taste a lot like the nose with emphasis on yeast, lots of apple, and farmhouse flavors/grass. Not as much berry in the taste as in the nose. A little bit of an unpleasant bitter and acidic aftertaste.

M: An improvement in mouthfeel would be a big improvement for this beer. Carbonation is weak and mouthfeel is watery and fails to mesh with saliva in the mouth in an unpleasant way. In my opinion, the biggest weakness of this beer.

O: This is of course supposed to be aged until 2012, but I have a hard time imagining how the beer would be much improved with a year's more aging. Glad I tried it, but not great drinkability and wouldn't reach for it again unless doing the full vertical tasting in 2012.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale color with little head that leaves no lace.

Lots of cloves in the nose (which I don't like)some hints of earthy hops. Not much more than that.

Taste is a little bitterness with yeasty bread dough with earthy hops and some very interesting green apple! That's nice.

Medium to full bodied and a little dry.

Ok drinkability.

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Photo of chaz01
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good sized (4-5 ounce) pour at a Stone Vertical Tasting Event sponsored by Belmont Party Supplies on 5/12/2010, served in a very cool Stone Vertical Epic tasting glass.

A: Clear golden color -- beer produced the biggest foamy head of any in the series to date.

S: Hoppy citrus aroma along with some musky pine notes.

T: Pine flavors in the taste along with some musky orange flavor. More grassy hay and straw in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

D: This didn't stand out in the series -- still a bit of hoppiness character to the beer which I would presume will fade over time.

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Photo of seangroves
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance:
Golden brown in color with a large white head. The beer is very clear and the head lingers.

Smell:
It smells very sweet, almost fruity close to a banana, with the aroma of the hops coming through very strongly with a suttle hint of pale malt.

Taste:
A bit unbecoming at first but the hops come through very strongly with an ending of a light pale maltiness. The hops are very strong throughout from beginning to end.

Mouthfeel:
The beer feels very light and smooth with a bit of chewiness to it afterward. Carbonation is borderline.

Drinkability:
This beer is easy to consume as it is very light to the feel and quite smooth. I may have another after.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.98 out of 5 based on 885 ratings.
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